Update: I didn’t realize it when I wrote this post, but J. Max Wilson beat me to the punch … here’s his “Dutcher Advertising Opportunism?” post.

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Below is an excerpt from an email I’ve received two days in a row:

Hello Friends!

With Mitt Romney’s red-hot presidential run, popular LDS talk-show hosts, cover of Time Magazine, and President Hinckley’s 97 th birthday grabbing the headlines, Mormonism is generating lots of talk. Also lots of frustrating misconceptions.

The good news is that Richard Dutcher’s acclaimed missionary drama States of Grace: God’s Army 2 is helping Mormons across America to clarify many of these misconceptions to their curious non-LDS friends and neighbors. Questions such as:

–Are Mormons Christian?

–Do Mormons still practice polygamy?

–How do Mormons view other religions?

This is where Grace3 comes in. For the duration of this exclusive offer, Lighthouse Promise is offering States of Grace at a significant discount (more than 65% off for 3)! Plus the shipping is free! So take advantage of this incredible opportunity not just to answer all of your friends’ Mormon-related questions, but also to share one of the most powerful spiritual films of our time!

I’ve seen the movie being advertised. It doesn’t strike me as a movie that is designed to specifically answer the listed questions. In other words, there are much better ways to dispel misconceptions about Mormonism – than to hand someone a copy of this movie.

But that isn’t really the point. What bothers me is that this movie’s director, Richard Dutcher, has had a very recent and very public exit from the Mormon Church – so this Mormon-targeted marketing pitch strikes me as a rather cynical move.

Maybe I shouldn’t be all that surprised. No doubt someone has a lot of copies of this movie around and selling three of them at a time, for thirty bucks, might be a good deal to some people. What bothers me is the Mormon-centric pitch regarding a work from a currently much-less-than-Mormon-centric director.

We have real, qualified, faithful representatives out there who can speak for us as controversies and questions arise. Richard Dutcher isn’t one of them.